Pictures: Day 9

Day 9 / Sunday, September 30, 2007
Start: Sayulita, Nayarit, 10:00 am
End: Guadalajara, Jalisco, 7:30 pm
Mileage: 242

Breakfast at the Choco Banana in the main square in Sayulita of French toast and bacon.

Taking a quick look at Puerto Vallarta, since I was so close. Nice place.

Looks very much like how a seaside town should be: coconut trees, cobble stone streets (a pain for motorcycles) and nice buildings too.

Enjoying some Birria on the way to Guadalajara. This is basically grilled pork stew, which was so tasty that I sought it out for the next couple meals. It's distinctive of this region. Very nice clay pot that it was served in.

A torch runner. Perhaps they were practicing for the next round of the Olympic torch run. The runner was following a van with other runners in there, who probably took turns with the torch. An ambulance and a police car followed. They were also holding up traffic for a mile or more.

Amidst all the green mountains, I saw lots of these sharp edged black rocks… perhaps they're volcanic in nature coming from hot magma (Austin Powers). But Mexico is known to have some active volcanos as it's part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Two wheels - transportation for the whole family. Forget helmets and safety gear, if you can get on, hold on. I must've looked like someone from space with all my safety gear on.

Blue Agave fields indicating that I was getting close to the town of Tequila.

This stuff was growing everywhere in these hills.

It takes 10 years for the plant to mature before it can be made into Tequila, so lots of it is planted all over the place.

Some twisties near the town of tequila.

Damn, that's a lot of tequila in storage there.

The trucks off-loading the pinas (the heart of the Blue Agave plant, which is used to make tequila).

The Jose Cuervo distillery in downtown Tequila. I was here to take a tour of the site.

The distillery is on the left side here with lots of nice restaurants and cafes flanking the other side.


Pinas with the characteristic blue leaves shopped off. This is how they were delivered from the fields back in the day.

Touring the Cuervo facility.

A fleet of old Ford trucks that were used in the distribution of the finished product. Just like Whiskey or any good liquor, its success is partly down to its distribution.

Some of the tools used to harvest the Blue Agave plant.

The pinas after being cooked in the ovens for 36 hours. I think it's cooked to release the sugars in the juice.

After fermentation, it is distilled twice.

Distillation tanks.

Pieces of the Blue Agave plant after being cooked in the ovens. These were samples for people on the tour. It's not bad, a caramel flavor, but you have to spit out the leaves.

Our tour guide giving us samples of product that either wasn't distilled fully or wasn't diluted yet. It tasted like pure ethanol (like Ever Clear).

Tequila being aged in wooden barrels. The final product determines how long the Blanco Tequila is to be aged.

The full Cuervo product range. The Especial is their lowest quality (and biggest seller) and has only 51% agave instead of 100% like the other products offered.

Pouring shots of their top of the line brand, 1800. We were sampling the 3 year aged Tequila, which tastes really smooth and nice.

'We are not responsible if you have to drive after this…'

Left to Right: 3 year, 2 year and 1 year aged Tequila.

I should've swiped a barrel and strapped it to the bike. I could've even used it as fuel…

Special reserve Tequila that's being aged a long while in the cool cellar below the main distillery.

I'm not sure if those are actual pinas or bottled Tequila from more than a 100 years ago.

Ending the tour in the cellar. The tour is in Spanish but I could follow along and understand the basics. It cost $10 and you even get a small really tasty margarita at the bar at the end.

The domes from the cellar sticking out above ground.

The chapel in the main square of the town of Tequila.

The broad avenues of the big city of Guadalajara. I was here to find a dealer to change my rear tire, then head back down to the coast.

Something you don't find in the US is pizzas being delivered by motorcycles. Happens in India too.

My hotel, Hostal de Maria near the main square of Guadalajara for $14. Very clean and a laundry load cost $4. They also had free internet.

Next: Day 10 - 11, Melaque and Zihuatanejo

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